The Distribution of an Oil, Carbohydrate, and Protein Food Source to Members of the Imported Fire Ant Colony1

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Using a dye technique, the distribution of sugar, oil, and protein food sources among the colony of Solenopsis saevissima richteri Ford was studied. The protein was primarily distributed to larvae. The sugar was distributed to the various castes more uniformly than the oil. Larvae received a greater proportion of Sugar than the other castes. Males contained a larger percentage of sugar than workers in 24 hours but had less than workers based on body weight. Some dye and sugar was found to be regurgitated by the workers when feel sugar, thus reducing the sugar available to the colony. All castes received more oil than sugar or protein. Larvae received the greatest percentage of the oil. Males received only a small maintenance amount.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1968

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